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Article
Publication date: 9 January 2017

Cinzia Battistella, Alberto F. De Toni and Elena Pessot

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how the context of open innovation offered by accelerators can affect the successful growth of start-ups. The authors explore…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how the context of open innovation offered by accelerators can affect the successful growth of start-ups. The authors explore accelerators practices and tools in sustaining start-ups and increasing survival probability in their innovation process, with the aim of addressing the following research question: how can start-ups benefit from participation in an accelerator programme from an open innovation perspective?

Design/methodology/approach

A review of the literature on start-up successes and failures and on major practices in the open innovation paradigm was carried out, delineating them in the context of accelerators. Given the absence of literature on accelerator practices for supporting start-ups, and aiming at a comprehensive understanding of how the open environment within the accelerator influences a start-up’s survival (or even success) by mitigating the probability of failure, the authors conducted an exploratory case study in an English accelerator.

Findings

The open innovation practices mediated by an accelerator and the ones that are not covered, but that can benefit a start-up’s survival, are shown. On the one hand, main effective practices, such as dyadic co-creation with accelerator network partners and crowdsourcing, are revealed to address mostly the lack of, or wrong direction in, product, marketing and relative managerial abilities, which are not usually owned by a start-up due to its “newness”. On the other hand, some causes of failures, such as the intrinsic characteristics of founder teams, do not seem to be addressed by an open approach and neither does participation in an accelerator programme.

Originality/value

This paper is the first to study and link the literature on accelerators, start-ups and open innovation.

Details

European Journal of Innovation Management, vol. 20 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1460-1060

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 6 November 2017

Cinzia Battistella, Alberto Felice De Toni and Elena Pessot

This work provides new insights into possible managerial choices and development directions for practising open innovation (OI) in companies. The purpose of this paper is…

Abstract

Purpose

This work provides new insights into possible managerial choices and development directions for practising open innovation (OI) in companies. The purpose of this paper is to explore the different practices, actors and tools adopted for opening up the innovation process, in particular, by small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that are still facing difficulties in its implementation.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on a literature review and an exploratory survey of a sample of 85 European SMEs.

Findings

The study identifies a total of 23 practices, 20 actors and 11 tools involved in the OI processes of companies. It highlights, through literature and empirical evidence, how different combinations of practices, actors and tools are put into practice.

Research limitations/implications

The developed framework offers new insights both from OI literature and from practitioners’ point of view into the supporting decision-making processes regarding which practices to implement, tools to adopt and actors to collaborate with. A wider investigation is recommended to include more variables to define the differences among the combinations of practices, actors and tools in terms of types of innovation (e.g. product, process, etc.), the openness degree and other contextual factors.

Originality/value

The originality of this paper is based on the fact that it focusses on a practical perspective of OI implementation, building a framework of reference from previous literature and empirical investigation.

Details

Business Process Management Journal, vol. 23 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-7154

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 5 June 2017

Alberto Felice De Toni, Andrea Fornasier and Fabio Nonino

This paper aims to explain and discuss the complex nature and value of knowledge as an exploitable resource for business.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explain and discuss the complex nature and value of knowledge as an exploitable resource for business.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors propose a conceptual explanation of knowledge based on three pillars: the plurality of its nature, understood to be conservative, multipliable and generative, its contextual value and the duality of carrier incorporating business knowledge, objects or processes. After conceptualizing the nature of knowledge, the authors offer a metaphor based on the classic transformation from “potential” to “kinetic” energy in an inclined plane assuming that the conservative nature of knowledge makes it act as energy.

Findings

The metaphor uses the concept of potential and kinetic energy: if energy is only potential, it has a potential value not yet effective, whereas if the potential energy (knowledge) becomes kinetic energy (products and/or services), it generates business value. In addition, business value is a function of the speed acquired and caused by the angle of inclined plan, namely, the company’s business model. Knowledge is the source of the value and can be maintained and regenerated only through continuous investments. Several years later the value extraction reaches a null value of the company (potential energy) which will cease to act (kinetic energy) for triggering both the value generated and the value extracted.

Originality/value

The paper proposes an initial attempt to explain the meaning of the transformation of knowledge using a metaphor derived from physics. The metaphor of the energy of knowledge clearly depicts the managerial dilemma of balancing a company’s resources for both the generating and extracting value. Similarly, future study should try to associate other knowledge peculiarities to physical phenomena.

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 1991

Alberto De Toni and Luca Zipponi

The reasons which make an integrated product‐process approachnecessary are described: also indicated are the aim of simultaneousproduct‐process design, attainment of…

Abstract

The reasons which make an integrated product‐process approach necessary are described: also indicated are the aim of simultaneous product‐process design, attainment of flexibility in stable operating conditions, and variables connected with integrated design, i.e. the degree of product standardisation and the degree of process similitude, concur in determining the applicative fields of the various automation typologies (CNC machines, FMS, flexible transfers, rigid transfers, etc.).

Details

Integrated Manufacturing Systems, vol. 2 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-6061

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 18 May 2012

Alberto F. De Toni, Gianluca Biotto and Cinzia Battistella

In the stream of works studying complexity from an organizational viewpoint, literature is focused mainly on describing new organizational forms (holonic organization…

Abstract

Purpose

In the stream of works studying complexity from an organizational viewpoint, literature is focused mainly on describing new organizational forms (holonic organization, circular organization, virtual corporation, …) and on conceptual works identifying new managerial principles to manage emergence (job enrichment, de‐regulation, …). But literature still lacks “actionable knowledge” on management of emergent processes. Therefore, the authors seek to propose an empirical analysis with the aim of finding the organizational design drivers that enable self‐organization. As creativity could be understood as an important precondition for both adaptation and innovation in an age of complexity, the authors focus on creativity emergence process.

Design/methodology/approach

The analysis is based on a framework of self‐organization principles. The authors derived it from the literature and used it to empirically analyse open innovation web‐based platforms for creativity. They are deemed particularly important because their open and collaborative innovation process is often self‐organized and their collaboration relationships seem to be loosely coupled. Therefore, they are a good ground to investigate the alternatives to managerial hierarchy and the knowledge‐based organizations associated with emergence and self‐organization.

Findings

The results highlight important organizational design choices to enable self‐organization process: organic structure composed by activity systems to enable reconfiguration; roles enlargement and enrichment and cognitive diversity to enable redundancy; collaboration and participatory decision‐making and social capital and networking to enable interconnection; values adaptation, motivations and rules to enable sharing principle.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to the empirical knowledge on emergence process, translating the principles of self‐organization in managerial actions.

Details

The Learning Organization, vol. 19 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-6474

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 10 August 2012

Massimo Biotto, Alberto F. De Toni and Fabio Nonino

The purpose of this paper is to widen the knowledge base on supply chain learning by exploring and explaining how an enterprise can compete and win in the international…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to widen the knowledge base on supply chain learning by exploring and explaining how an enterprise can compete and win in the international market by integrating quality management practices along its supply chain and, above all, by becoming the coordinator in a supply chain learning (SCL) network.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors conducted an exploratory case study on a group operating in the coffee market that is universally recognised for the high quality of its products: illycaffè.

Findings

This paper illustrates and explains how the illycaffè Group implements, competes and wins in the international market because of its exemplary business strategies, its focus on the competitive priority of quality, and consistent and integrated supply chain management practices that are sustained by an innovative approach: the diffusion of knowledge, know‐how and a culture of excellence in coffee quality along the entire value chain. The authors find that the diffusion of a culture of quality orients supply chain learning towards the continuous improvement of product and service quality, and above all, improves results by encouraging an emergent behaviour across different actors that creates a shared culture.

Research limitations/implications

The exploratory nature and use of a single case study are the major limitations of this research. Nevertheless, this study may serve as a significant starting point for future research and analysis related to supply chain learning strategies.

Originality/value

The illycaffè case study contributes to the literature on quality management and on supply chain management suggesting how an enterprise can improve product and service quality using a sustainable SCL strategy based on knowledge/know‐how diffusion and a shared culture along the entire supply chain.

Details

The International Journal of Logistics Management, vol. 23 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-4093

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 1993

Alberto De Toni and Roberto Panizzolo

Proposes a conceptual interpretative framework as a reading key tomanagement differences in the two principal manufacturing contexts– intermittent manufacturing and…

Abstract

Proposes a conceptual interpretative framework as a reading key to management differences in the two principal manufacturing contexts – intermittent manufacturing and repetitive manufacturing – within the three basic operations management subsystems: planning, inventory control and shopfloor control.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 13 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 1992

Alberto De Toni and Roberto Panizzolo

Proposes a classification of different production categories andtheir respective productive systems and defines various classes ofplants which carry out repetitive…

Abstract

Proposes a classification of different production categories and their respective productive systems and defines various classes of plants which carry out repetitive manufacturing. Also examines the applicative possibilities of repetitive production in regard to production volumes required and grades of flexibility necessary. Among the intermittent production systems described are those which present strong analogies with repetitive manufacturing systems; in particular that of the Zanussi‐Electrolux plant in Susegana, Italy. Finally, describes the fundamental elements which differentiate repetitive production from intermittent production.

Details

Integrated Manufacturing Systems, vol. 3 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-6061

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 1991

Alberto De Toni and Luca Zipponi

An interpretative chart is proposed on several levels, which on theone hand acts as a key to the actions aimed at revision of simultaneousdesign criteria, and on the other…

Abstract

An interpretative chart is proposed on several levels, which on the one hand acts as a key to the actions aimed at revision of simultaneous design criteria, and on the other is a methodological indication of how to articulate simultaneous actions on the product and the process. For each level the action levers and objectives are further described in an attempt to distinguish both single and multiple lever‐objective relationships. Finally, ways of carrying out simultaneous actions on the product and the process, together with the problems involved are discussed.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 11 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 1997

Alberto De Toni, Guido Nassimbeni and Stefano Tonchia

Presents an original integrated production performance measurement system (IP2MS) based on a model able to examine simultaneously several production performances of…

Abstract

Presents an original integrated production performance measurement system (IP2MS) based on a model able to examine simultaneously several production performances of different operation centres of a firm. The need for an integrated examination of the performances is of crucial importance for today’s manufacturers in order to achieve a competitive advantage. Obtains a quantitative and homogeneous appraisal of the production performances; furthermore, identifies activities responsible for the major differences between actual and desired levels of performance. The proposed model has been empirically tested in some significant medium‐large enterprises of Northern Italy.

Details

Industrial Management & Data Systems, vol. 97 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-5577

Keywords

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